Mary Linklater, a Maryland church official, was not allowed to sue her pastor for allegedly harassing her sexually. The high Court did not give her an opportunity to file an appeal against the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Md. Not only that, her retaliation complaint was also thrown to the air by the Court of Appeals of Maryland due to the ministerial exception clause.
This ministerial clause is what shields the pastor from being sued for the sexual harassment case. Though, generally it protects both of them as she is the minister of music of the church. This was the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion which is meant to shield churches and their activities. It is to protect them from being affected by some laws especially when their employees are involved. Therefore, it’s not only her case that was thrown to air; the church also attempted to appeal to the court to dismiss her sexual harassment claims but was declined by the Court.
All these scandals involving the honorable Pastor Rufus Lusk III and Mary Linklater would not have come up if they had not neglected sexual harassment classes. Most people think religious employees and employers are saints, and so they cannot be involved in this kind of act, but the issue of sexual harassment extends more than that.
Since they are human beings and to man is to err, no one should think he or she is too religious to enroll in sexual harassment classes. If you think you can never harass an employee sexually, we completely understand. However, think what will happen if you fall victim. It is important for the religious houses to organize these classes for their church officials. Both employees and employers need to be prepared in case sexual harassment happens – even in a church.
One thing that makes this case very strange is the fact that the victim was neither given the chance to file a complaint, nor to talk of given the opportunity of filing a suit against the perpetrator of this act. This is due to the law of freedom of religion which shields the religious houses and their employees. This law will serve as a gateway to perpetrating this act in the religious houses and nothing will be done to it. This is unfair. The victim will be left depressed and also probably will lose his or her job.
This is a one-sided law, and it will surely turn the religious houses to places where nobody should be trusted as there is liberty to do and undo. Another amazing fact about this issue is that the church administrators have not been able to train employees on ways and methods of avoiding sexual harassment. They did, however, go ahead to file an appeal to dismiss the victim’s sexual harassment claims; this is shameful.
They got into a very shameful act just because they failed to organize Maryland sexual harassment classes for their employees at a time when sexual harassment classes are prominent online. Nowadays, they are various online sexual harassment classes that will give you the complete package of sexual harassment avoiding tips without leaving your office or place of work. These classes can be done right in your desired place at your own desired time. These are classes where the church administrators and their employees will learn manners of interacting in the religious houses without stepping on each other’s toes, ways of improving productivity through shunning sexual harassment and a lot of things that will help keep individuals and the religious houses safe.